Bass Harmonics - How To Easily Play Natural Harmonics On The Bass

harmonics technique Sep 07, 2018

A lot of modern bass guitar players incorporate harmonics into their grooves, melodies, and solo-style approach.

Jaco Pastorious was notorious for sustaining harmonics on the high D and G strings, while maintaining a low bass note on the E and A strings.

Here are 6 super-simple tips for playing natural harmonics on the bass

  1. Crank up your mid's on your pickups.
    • To do this, you need to turn up the pickup that is closest to the bridge. The mid-range exists in the far end of your bass string. So, turning up this pick-up will boost this frequency of the bass and allow your harmonics to ring.
  2. Pluck your bass string close to the bridge.
    • You will find that the closer you pluck to the bridge, the clearer your bass harmonics will ring.
  3. Keep your fretting at very light touch.
    • You want to avoid actually fretting the note. Lightly touch the string, but not press down on the actual fret.
    • A lot of natural harmonics also exist in between the frets.
  4. Once the bass harmonic is sounded, you no longer need to leave your fretting finger there.
    • This will free up your fretting hand to allow you to play actual bass notes!
  5. Keeping your fingers curved will help to allow your harmonics to continue ringing.
    • As soon as any part of your fretting hand touches a different location on the string that is playing the harmonics, those harmonics will stop ringing.
  6. Pay close attention to the location of your fretting finger.
    • A slight shift in location can produce an entirely new bass harmonic note.

You can grab a free bass harmonics chart when you subscribe to our mailing-list, or by going here. This chart will show you the accurate locations of easy-to-play natural bass harmonics!

Explore Bass Harmonics

If you want to know more about playing harmonics on the bass, you might be interested in:

Harmonics for Electric Bass

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